Title:
Railway assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly including a reinforced rail member and a guard component section. The reinforced rail member includes a reinforced rail member shell section defining a shell space, and also includes a cap member and a strut coupling member. There is also provided a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section. The cap member is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member by a biasing force. The biased engagement effects coupling of the cap member to the reinforcement member. The guard component section subassembly includes a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member. The reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member.



Inventors:
Dezen, Vic (Woodbridge, CA)
Curatolo, Tony (Innisfil, CA)
Application Number:
12/379906
Publication Date:
09/10/2009
Filing Date:
03/04/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/14; E04F11/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILEY, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP (Toronto, ON, CA)
Claims:
1. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a reinforced rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; wherein the cap member is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member by a biasing force, which thereby effects coupling of the cap member to the reinforcement member, and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member.

2. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reinforced rail member which defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member is a first reinforced rail member, and wherein the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member of the guard component section subassembly is a second reinforced rail member, and wherein the second reinforced rail member includes: a rail member shell section, including a cap member and a strut coupling member, wherein a space is defined between the cap member and the mounting member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the space and effecting reinforcement to the rail member shell section; wherein the cap member is urged into a coupling relationship with the reinforcement member by a biasing force, and thereby coupled to the reinforcement member.

3. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

4. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

5. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the coupling engagement between the cap member and the reinforcement member is effected by a snap-fit engagement.

6. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 1, wherein the coupling relationship between the cap member and the reinforcement member is effected by a friction-fit engagement.

7. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the disposition of the cap member relative to the mounting member defines an interrupted exterior surface of the shell section, and wherein the interrupted exterior surface is not visible from each one of a plurality of lines of sight, wherein each one of a plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion of the shell.

8. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 7, wherein the disposition of each one of the plurality of lines of sight is at an acute angle of greater than about five (5) degrees relative to a horizontal plane.

9. The section of the guard component a claimed in claim 7, wherein the interrupted exterior surface of the shell section is disposed on an opposite side of the shell section relative to the shell space.

10. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 7, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

11. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 7, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

12. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein, from the point of view of a plurality of lines of sight, the visible portions of the combination of the cap member and the strut coupling member define an uninterrupted exterior surface, wherein each one of the plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion of the shell.

13. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 12, wherein the disposition of each one of the plurality of lines of sight is at an acute angle of greater than about five (5) degrees relative to a horizontal plane.

14. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 12, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

15. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 12, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

16. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the strut coupling member further includes a one of a locator element or a receiving element; and wherein the reinforcement member includes the other one of a locator element or a receiving element, wherein the other one of a locator element or a receiving element of the reinforcement member co-operates with the one of a locator element or a receiving element of the strut coupling member to effect positioning of the reinforcement member relative to the strut coupling member during construction of the railing assembly, and wherein the locator element bears against the receiving element and is thereby coupled to the receiving element.

17. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

18. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

19. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the locator element is disposed in friction-fit engagement with the receiving element.

20. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the disposition of the cap member relative to the strut coupling member defines a fluid passage which communicates with the shell space and is configured for draining any liquid accumulating within the shell space, and wherein the fluid passage includes an outlet port disposed below the shell space.

21. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

22. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

23. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 16, wherein the fluid passage includes a minimum diameter of at least about one-sixtyfourth ( 1/64) of an inch.

24. A section of a railing assembly comprising: a guard component section including: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; a railing assembly component including a reinforcement member joint surface portion; and a connector effecting coupling between the guard component section and the railing assembly component, wherein the reinforcement member is disposed substantially flush relative to the reinforcement member joint surface portion of the railing assembly component.

25. The section of a railing assembly as claimed in claim 24, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

26. The section of a railing assembly as claimed in claim 24, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

27. The section of a railing assembly as claimed in claim 24, wherein the reinforcement member includes an end portion including an end surface, wherein the end surface is disposed substantially flush relative to the reinforcement member joint surface portion of the railing assembly component.

28. The section of a rail assembly as claimed in claim 27, wherein the connector includes an external connection portion coupled to the railing assembly component, and wherein the external connection portion includes a connection surface which is disposed substantially flush relative to a connector joint surface portion of the railing assembly component

29. The section of a rail assembly as claimed in claim 28, wherein each one of the reinforcement member joint surface portion and the connector joint surface portion is substantially co-planar.

30. The section of a rail assembly as claimed in claim 29, wherein each one of the reinforcement member joint surface portion and the connector joint surface portion is disposed in a substantially vertical plane.

31. The section of a rail assembly as claimed in claim 28, wherein the connection surface of the connection portion is substantially co-planar relative to the end surface of the reinforcement member.

32. The section of a rail assembly as claimed in claim 24, wherein the railing assembly component is a post.

33. A section of a railing assembly comprising: a guard component section including: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section, and including an end portion, wherein the end portion includes an end surface; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; a railing assembly component including a reinforcement member joint surface portion; and a connector effecting coupling between the guard component section and the railing assembly component; wherein a space is provided between the end surface of the reinforcement member and the reinforcement member joint surface portion, and wherein the maximum spacing between the end surface of the reinforcement member and the reinforcement member joint surface portion of the railing assembly component is less than about one-thirtysecond ( 1/32) of an inch.

34. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 33, wherein the reinforcement member is coupled to the strut coupling member with a fastener.

35. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 33, wherein the strut coupling member is coupled to the strut with a fastener.

36. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: an upper rail member; a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; and a strut reinforcement member effecting reinforcement of the strut and extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; wherein the strut reinforcement member is disposed relative to the strut such that rotational movement of the strut reinforcement member, relative to a longitudinal axis of the strut, is resisted.

37. The section of a guard component as claimed in claim 36, wherein the rotational movement is substantially prevented.

38. The section of a guard component as claimed in claim 36, wherein the strut reinforcement member is slide-fit into the strut.

39. The section of a guard component as claimed in claim 36, wherein the strut reinforcement member includes opposite edge portions, and wherein each one of the opposite edge portions is slide-fit into a respective one of opposite corners provided within the strut.

40. A section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a shell portion including an upper rail member, a lower rail member, and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; a reinforcing skeleton including an upper rail member skeleton, a lower rail member skeleton, and a strut skeleton extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member skeleton and the lower rail member skeleton; wherein the shell portion is coupled to the reinforcing skeleton and disposed relative to the reinforcing skeleton such that each one of the upper rail member skeleton, the lower rail member skeleton, and the connector skeleton is configured to reinforce a respective one of the upper rail member, the lower rail member, and the strut skeleton.

41. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 40, wherein the shell portion is supported by the reinforcing skeleton.

42. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 40, wherein the shell portion is mounted over the reinforcing skeleton.

43. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 40, wherein the material of the shell portion includes plastic.

44. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 43, wherein the shell portion material is extruded plastic.

45. The section of the guard component as claimed in claim 43, wherein the material of the reinforcing skeleton includes metalliferrous material.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to railing assemblies and, in particular, to reinforced railing assemblies.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Railing assemblies have long been used for both safety and aesthetic purposes. Traditionally, railing assemblies have been constructed from wood because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to work with, and possesses suitable strength characteristics. However, there are disadvantages with constructing railing assemblies from wood, including its tendency to splinter, as well as its susceptibility to decay.

More recently, suitable material substitutes have been developed, such as plastics, to overcome these problems encountered when using wood materials. In order to maintain low material costs and low construction costs, while providing a suitably strong product, railing assemblies are often constructed from metal reinforced plastic components. However, currently available railing assembly products in the marketplace, with such metal reinforced plastic components, are, in some aesthetic and functional aspects, inferior to corresponding products made from wood materials.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a reinforced rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; wherein the cap member is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member by a biasing force, which thereby effects coupling of the cap member to the reinforcement member; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the disposition of the cap member relative to the mounting member defines an interrupted exterior surface of the shell section, and wherein the interrupted exterior surface is not visible from each one of a plurality of lines of sight, wherein each one of a plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion of the shell.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein, from the point of view of a plurality of lines of sight, the visible portions of the combination of the cap member and the strut coupling member define an uninterrupted exterior surface, wherein each one of the plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion of the shell.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the strut coupling member further includes a one of a locator element or a receiving element; and wherein the reinforcement member includes the other one of a locator element or a receiving element, wherein the other one of a locator element or a receiving element of the reinforcement member co-operates with the one of a locator element or a receiving element of the strut coupling member to effect positioning of the reinforcement member relative to the strut coupling member during construction of the railing assembly, and wherein the locator element bears against the receiving element and is thereby coupled to the receiving element.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; And a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and wherein the disposition of the cap member relative to the strut coupling member defines a fluid passage which communicates with the shell space and is configured for draining any liquid accumulating within the shell space, and wherein the fluid passage includes an outlet port disposed below the shell space.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a railing assembly comprising: a guard component section including: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; a railing assembly component including a reinforcement member joint surface portion; and a connector effecting coupling between the guard component section and the railing assembly component; wherein the reinforcement member is disposed substantially flush relative to the reinforcement member joint surface portion of the railing assembly component.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a railing assembly comprising: a guard component section including: a reinforced rail member including: a rail member shell section defining a shell space, and including a cap member and a strut coupling member; and a reinforcement member disposed in the shell space and effecting reinforcement of the rail member shell section, and including an end portion, wherein the end portion includes an end surface; and a guard component section subassembly including: a one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member, and (ii) the strut coupling member; wherein the reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member or a lower rail member; a railing assembly component including a reinforcement member joint surface portion; and a connector effecting coupling between the guard component section and the railing assembly component; wherein a space is provided between the end surface of the reinforcement member and the reinforcement member joint surface portion, and wherein the maximum spacing between the end surface of the reinforcement member and the reinforcement member joint surface portion of the railing assembly component is less than about one-thirty second ( 1/32) of an inch.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: an upper rail member; a lower rail member; and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; and a strut reinforcement member effecting reinforcement of the strut and extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; wherein the strut reinforcement member is disposed relative to the strut such that rotational movement of the strut reinforcement member, relative to a longitudinal axis of the strut, is resisted.

In another aspect, there is provided a section of a guard component of a railing assembly comprising: a shell portion including an upper rail member, a lower rail member, and a strut extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member and the lower rail member; a reinforcing skeleton including an upper rail member skeleton, a lower rail member skeleton, and a strut skeleton extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member skeleton and the lower rail member skeleton; wherein the shell portion is coupled to the reinforcing skeleton and disposed relative to the reinforcing skeleton such that each one of the upper rail member skeleton, the lower rail member skeleton, and the connector skeleton is configured to reinforce a respective one of the upper rail member, the lower rail member, and the strut skeleton.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The invention will better be understood when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a railing assembly;

FIG. 2 is a sectional side elevation view of the railing assembly of FIG. 1, taken along lines A-A;

FIG. 3 is a sectional side elevation view of the railing assembly of FIG. 1, taken along lines B-B, where the connector has been removed for clarity;

FIG. 4 is an exploded top perspective view of the railing assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of a section of the guard component of the rail assembly;

FIG. 6 is an exploded side elevation view of the section of the guard component of the rail assembly illustrated in FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is top perspective view of the section of the guard component of the rail assembly illustrated in FIG. 5, with a connector illustrated in exploded form relative to the guard component section.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

There is provided a railing assembly 10. The railing assembly 10 is configured for mounting to a foundation 12. For example, the railing assembly 10 is mounted within poured concrete disposed below ground. As a further example, and referring to FIG. 1, the railing assembly 10 is mounted to a platform, such as a deck.

The railing assembly 10 includes a pair of spaced apart posts 14. Extending between and connecting the posts 14 is a guard component 16. The guard component 16 includes an upper rail member 18 and a lower rail member 20. For example, each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20 is connected to a respective one of the posts 14 with mechanical fasteners, such as bolts, co-operating with respective connectors 22 or brackets. For example, each one of a respective longitudinal axis of each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20 is substantially horizontal. For example, each one of the respective longitudinal axis of each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20 is disposed in a respective vertical plane, and each one of the respective vertical plane of each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20 is substantially co-planar. Extending between and connecting the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20 is a plurality of spaced apart struts 24. For example, each one of a respective axis of each one of the struts 24 is substantially vertical.

For example, with respect to each one of the posts 14, each one of the posts 14 includes a shell 26 and a post reinforcement member, wherein the post reinforcement member is disposed within the shell. For example, with respect to the shell 26, the material of the shell 26 includes plastic. As a further example, the material of the shell 26 is extruded plastic. A suitable plastic is polyvinyl chloride. For example, with respect to the reinforcement member 28, the material of the reinforcement member 28 includes a metalliferrous material. As a further example, the material of the reinforcement member 28 is a metalliferrous material For example, the metalliferrous material is steel. A suitable steel is galvanized steel. For example, with respect to each one of the connectors 20, the material of the connector 20 includes metalliferrous material. As a further example, the material of the connector 20 is a metalliferrous material. For example, the metalliferrous material is galvanized steel.

Referring to FIG. 2 to 7, there is provided the guard component 16, including a section thereof. The section of the guard component 16 includes a reinforced rail member 30 and a guard component section subassembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes a reinforced rail member shell section 34 and a reinforcement member 28. The reinforced rail member shell section 34 defines a shell space 36, and includes a cap member 38 and a strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 34.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20. The guard component section subassembly 32 also includes a strut 24. The strut 24 extends between and is coupled to each one of (i) the one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20 of the subassembly 32, and (ii) the strut coupling member 40. The reinforced rail member 30 defines the other one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20.

For example, with respect to the embodiment illustrated in the figures, the reinforced rail member 30 defines the upper rail member 18, and the lower rail member 20 is included as a portion of the guard component section sub-assembly 32.

For example, with further respect to the embodiment illustrated in the figures, the lower rail member 20 of the guard component section subassembly 32 is a reinforced rail member 31. The reinforced rail member 31includes a shell section 35 and a reinforcement member 29. The reinforced rail member shell section 35 defines a shell space 37, and includes a cap member 39 and a strut coupling member 41. The reinforcement member 29 is disposed in the shell space 37 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 35.

For example, each one of the respective strut coupling member 40, 41 is coupled to a respective one of the respective reinforcement member 28, 29. For example, each one of the respective strut coupling members 40, 41 is connected to a respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29 with a fastener. For example, with respect to the fastener, the fastener is a threaded member, such as a screw. For example, each one of the respective strut coupling members 40, 41 is connected to a respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29 with three fasteners.

For example, with respect to the coupling of each one of the strut coupling member 40, 41 to the strut 24, each one of the strut coupling member 40, 41 is connected to the strut 24 with one or more respective fasteners. For example, with respect to the fastener, the fastener is a threaded member, such as a screw. For example, in the illustrated embodiment, each one of the respective strut coupling members 40, 41 is connected to the strut 24 with a respective one of the two groups of three fasteners effecting connection between the respective one of the strut coupling members 40, 41 and the respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29.

For example, either or both ends of each one of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 receives a respective connector 22 for effecting coupling of the respective one of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 to a post 14 or, alternatively, a further respective one of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 of another section. Each one of the connectors 20 includes a respective rail member connection portion 42 which is disposed over a respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29 and includes holes to receive mechanical fasteners. Mechanical fasteners, such as screws, pass through the holes of the connector 22, penetrate through the respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29, and penetrate through a respective one of the strut coupling members 40, 41, and thereby effect coupling of the connector 22 to a respective one of the rail members 18, 20. Each one of the connectors 22 also includes an external connection portion 44 for effecting connection of the respective rail member 28, 29 to a post 14 or a further respective one of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 of another section.

For example, with respect to each one of the reinforced rail members 30, 31, each one of the respective one of the cap member 38, 39, and the respective one of the strut coupling members 40, 41, and also with respect to the strut 24, the material of each one of these components includes plastic. As a further example, the material is extruded plastic.

For example, with respect to each one of the reinforced rail members 30, 31, the material of a respective one of the reinforcement members 28, 29 includes a metalliferrous material. As a further example, the material is a metalliferrious material. For example, the metalliferrous material is steel. A suitable steel is galvanized steel.

(A) Coupling of Shell Member to Reinforcement Member

In one aspect, there is provided the section of a guard component 16 of a railing assembly 10, as described above, wherein the cap member is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member by a biasing force. The biased engagement effects coupling of the cap member 38 to the reinforcement member 28.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIGS. 5, 6, and 7, there is provided a section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10 including the reinforced rail member 30 and the guard component section subassembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes a reinforced rail member shell section 34 and a reinforcement member 28. The reinforced rail member shell section 34 defines a shell space 36, and includes a cap member 38 and a strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 34. The cap member 38 is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member 28 by a biasing force. The biased engagement effects coupling of the cap member 38 to the reinforcement member 28. For example, the coupling relationship between the cap member 38 and the reinforcement member 28 is effected by snap-fit engagement between the cap member and the reinforcement member 28.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20. Also included is the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20, and (ii) the strut coupling member 40. The reinforced rail member 30 defines the other one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20.

For example, where the upper rail member 18 defines the reinforced rail member 30, the cap member 38 is snap-fitted over the reinforcement member 28. In this respect, for example, the cap member 38 includes an upper portion 46 defining an upper surface of the upper rail member 18, and also includes spaced apart sidewalls 48a, 48b depending downwardly from the upper surface portion 46. The reinforcement member is closely spaced from each one of the sidewalls 48a, 48b. Extending inwardly from each one of the sidewalls 48a, 48b is a respective one of locking arms 50a, 50b. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed between the upper portion 46 and each one of the locking arms 50a, 50b. The locking arms 50a, 50b co-operate with the upper portion 46 to limit movement of the cap member 38 relative to the reinforcement member 28 in a vertical direction, and also limit movement of the cap member 38 relative to the reinforcement member 28 in a sideways direction (ie. in a direction parallel to an axis normal to an inner surface of a sidewall portion of the cap member 38).

For example, where the lower rail member 20 defines the reinforced rail member 31, the cap member 39 is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member 29 by a biasing force. The biased engagement effects coupling of the cap member 39 to the reinforcement member 29. For example, the coupling between the cap member 39 and the reinforcement member 29 is effected by snap-fit engagement. As a further example, the coupling between the cap member 39 and the reinforcement member 29 is effected by a friction fit between the cap member and the reinforcement member 29. In this respect, for example, the cap member 39 includes a lower portion defining a lower surface of the lower rail member 20, and also includes spaced apart engagement arms 52a, 52b extending upwardly from the lower portion. Each one of the engagement arms 52a, 52b bears against a respective one of inwardly facing surface-portions 291, 293 of the reinforcement member 29. The arms 52a, 52b co-operate with the lower portion to limit movement of the cap member 39 relative to the reinforcement member 29 in a vertical direction, and also limit movement of the cap member 39 relative to the reinforcement member 29 in a sideways direction (i.e. in a direction parallel to an axis normal to an inner surface of a sidewall portion of the cap member 39).

For example, the rail member of the guard section component sub-assembly 32 is also a reinforced rail member 31. The reinforced rail member 31 includes a reinforced rail member shell section 35 and a reinforcement member 29. The reinforced rail member shell section 35 defines a shell space 37, and includes a cap member 39 and a strut coupling member 41. The reinforcement member 29 is disposed in the shell space 37 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 35. The cap member 39 is urged into a biased engagement with the reinforcement member 29 by a biasing force. The biased engagement effects coupling of the cap member 39 with the reinforcement member 29. For example, the coupling is effected by way of snap-fit engagement of the cap member with the reinforcement member 29.

(B) Reinforced Rail Member Configured to Appear as Being of a One-Piece Construction

In another aspect, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of a railing-assembly 10, as described above, wherein the reinforced rail member 30 is configured to appear as being of a one-piece construction.

In one configuration, the disposition of the cap member 38 relative to the strut coupling member 40 defines an interrupted exterior surface 100 of the shell section 34. The interrupted exterior surface 100 is not visible from each one of a plurality of lines of sight 54. Each one of a plurality of lines of sight 54 is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 30, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion 56 of the shell section 34.

In an alternative configuration, from the point of view of a plurality of lines of sight 54, the visible portions of the combination of the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40 define an uninterrupted exterior surface. Each one of the plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 30, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis 102 normal to a side surface portion 56 of the shell section 34.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIGS. 3 and 5, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10. The guard component section includes the reinforced rail member 30 and the guard component section sub-assembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 34 and the reinforcement member 28. The reinforced rail member shell section 34 defines the shell space 36, and includes the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 34.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20. The guard component section sub-assembly 32 further includes the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20, and (ii) the strut coupling member 40. The reinforced rail member defines the other one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20.

In the first configuration referred to above, the disposition of the cap member 38 relative to the strut coupling member 40 defines an interrupted exterior surface 100 of the shell section 34. The interrupted exterior surface 100 is not visible from each one of a plurality of lines of sight 54. Each one of a plurality of lines of sight 54 is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 30, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis 102 normal to a side surface portion 56 of the shell section 34. For example, each one of the plurality of lines of sight 54 is further constrained by the fact that each one of the plurality of lines of sight 54 is disposed at an acute angle “x” of greater than five (5) degrees relative to a horizontal plane 104.

In the alternative configuration, from the point of view of a plurality of lines of sight 54, the visible portions of the combination of the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40 define an uninterrupted exterior surface. Each one of the plurality of lines of sight is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 30, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal 102 to a side surface portion 56 of the shell section 34. For example, each one of the plurality of lines of sight 54 is further constrained by the fact that each one of the plurality of lines of sight 54 is disposed at an acute angle “X” of greater than five (5) degrees relative to a horizontal plane 104.

For example, the rail member of the guard section component sub-assembly 32 is also a reinforced rail member 31. The reinforced rail member 31 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 35 and a reinforcement member 29. The reinforced rail member shell section 35 defines the shell space 37, and includes the cap member 39 and the strut coupling member 41. The reinforcement member 29 is disposed in the shell space 37 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 35. In the first configuration referred to above, the disposition of the cap member 39 relative to the strut coupling member 41 defines an interrupted exterior surface 200 of the shell section 35. The interrupted exterior surface 200 is not visible from each one of a plurality of lines of sight 55. Each one of a plurality of lines of sight 55 is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 31, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion 57of the shell section 35. For example, each one of the plurality of lines of sight 55 is further constrained by the fact that each one of the plurality of lines of sight 55 is disposed at an acute angle “Y” of greater than five (5) degrees relative to a horizontal plane 204. In the alternative configuration, from the point of view of a plurality of lines of sight 55, the visible portions of the combination of the cap member 39 and the strut coupling member 41 define an uninterrupted exterior surface. Each one of the plurality of lines of sight 55 is disposed as follows: (i) above the reinforced rail member 31, and (ii) in a vertical plane in which is disposed an axis normal to a side surface portion 57 of the shell section 35. For example, each one of the plurality of lines of sight 55 is further constrained by the fact that each one of the plurality of lines of sight 55 is disposed at an acute angle “Y” of greater than five (5) degrees relative to the horizontal plane 204. In this respect, each one of the upper and lower rail members 18,20 includes a respective reinforced rail members 30, 31, and each one of the reinforced rail members 30, 31 is configured to appear as being of a one-piece construction.

(C) Configuration for Facilitating Alignment of Individual Parts During Assembly

In another aspect, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10, as described above wherein the reinforced rail member 30 is configured so as to facilitate alignment of its individual parts during construction. In this respect, the strut coupling member 40 further includes a one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60. Also, the reinforcement member 28 includes the other one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60. The other one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60 of the reinforcement member 28 co-operates with the one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60 of the strut coupling member 40 to effect positioning of the reinforcement member 28 relative to the strut coupling member 40 during construction of the railing assembly 10.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIG. 6, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10. The guard component section includes the reinforced rail member 30 and the guard component section sub-assembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 34 and the reinforcement member 28. The reinforced rail member shell section 34 defines the shell space 36, and includes the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 34.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20. The guard component section sub-assembly 32 further includes the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20, and (ii) the strut coupling member 40.

The reinforced rail member 30 defines the other one of an upper rail member 18 or a lower rail member 20.

The strut coupling member 40 further includes a one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60. The reinforcement member 38 includes the other one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60. The other one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60 of the reinforcement member 38 co-operates with the one of a locator element 58 or a receiving element 60 of the strut coupling member 40 to effect positioning of the reinforcement member 28 relative to the strut coupling member 40 during construction of the railing assembly 10. The locator element 58 is disposed in friction fit engagement with the receiving element 60.

(D) Configuration for Facilitating Drainage of Any Moisture Ingress from Reinforced Rail Member

In another aspect, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10, as described above, wherein the reinforced rail member 30 is configured so as to facilitate drainage of any moisture ingress from within the reinforced rail member 30. The disposition of the cap member 38 relative to the strut coupling member 40 defines a fluid passage 62 which communicates with the shell space 36 and is configured for draining any liquid accumulating within the shell space 34. The fluid passage 62 includes an outlet port 64 disposed below the shell space 36. Moisture may gain access into the shell space 36 at points of joinder between the rail member 30 and the post 14, or between the rail member 30 and another rail member, or between the rail member 30 and the strut 24.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIG. 5, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10. The guard component section includes the reinforced rail member 30 and the guard component section sub-assembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 34 and the reinforcement member 28. The reinforced rail member shell section 34 defines the shell space 36, and includes the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 34.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20. The guard component section sub-assembly 32 further includes the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20, and (ii) the strut coupling member 40. The reinforced rail member 30 defines the other one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20.

The disposition of the cap member 38 relative to the strut coupling member 40 defines the fluid passage 62 which communicates with the shell space 36 and is configured for draining any liquid accumulating within the shell space 36. The fluid passage 62 includes an outlet port 64 disposed below the shell space 36. For example, with respect to the fluid passage 62, the fluid passage 62 includes a minimum diameter of at least one-sixty fourth ( 1/64) of an inch.

For example, the rail member of the guard section component sub-assembly 32 is also a reinforced rail member 31, and the reinforced rail member 31 is also configured so as to facilitate drainage of any moisture ingress from within the reinforced rail member 31. In this respect, the rail member of the guard section component sub-assembly 32 is the reinforced rail member 31. The reinforced rail member 31 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 35 and the reinforcement member 29. The reinforced rail member shell section 35 defines the shell space 37, and includes the cap member 39 and the strut coupling member 41. The reinforcement member 29 is disposed in the shell space 37 and effects reinforcement of the rail member shell section 35. The disposition of the cap member 39 relative to the strut coupling member 41 defines a fluid passage 63 which communicates with the shell space 37 and is configured for draining any liquid accumulating within the shell space 37. The fluid passage 63 includes an outlet port 65 disposed below the shell space 37. For example, with respect to the fluid passage 63, the fluid passage 63 includes a minimum diameter of at least one-sixty fourth ( 1/64) of an inch. In this respect, each one of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 includes a respective one of the reinforced rail member 30, 31 configured so as to facilitate drainage of any moisture ingress from within the respective one of the reinforced rail members 30,31.

(E) Connector for Reinforced Rail Member so as to Effect Minimal Spacing Between Reinforced Rail Member and Other Rail Assembly Component

In another aspect, there is a section of the railing assembly 10, including the section of the guard component 16, as described above, wherein the reinforced rail member 30 is coupled to the connector 22 to thereby effect connection to a railing assembly component. The spacing between the reinforced rail member 30 and the surface portion of the railing assembly component is minimal.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIGS. 2, 4, and 7, there is provided a section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10 including the reinforced rail member 30 and the guard component section subassembly 32.

The reinforced rail member 30 includes the shell section 34 and the reinforcement member 28. The shell section 34 defines the shell space 36, and includes the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40. The reinforcement member 28 is disposed in the shell space 36 and effects reinforcement of the shell section 34.

The guard component section subassembly 32 includes a one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20. Also included is the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of: (i) the one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20, and (ii) strut coupling member 40. The reinforced rail member 30 defines the other one of the upper rail member 18 or the lower rail member 20.

The reinforced rail member 30 is coupled to a connector 22. The connector 22 is coupled to a railing assembly component. For example, the railing assembly component is a post 14, or any other kind of a structural member. For example, the material of the connector includes a metalliferrous material. For example, the material of the connector is a metalliferrous material. For example, the metalliferrous material is galvanized steel.

For example, with respect to the coupling of the connector 22 to the reinforced rail member 30, the connector 22 is coupled to the reinforcement member 28. For example, the coupling is effected with at least one mechanical fastener. In this respect, for example, the connector includes at least one aperture, wherein each one of the at least one aperture corresponds to a respective one of the at least one mechanical fastener. Each one of the at least one mechanical fastener pass through the respective one of the at least one aperture and engage the reinforcement member 28 to effect coupling of the connector 22 to the reinforcement member 28. For example, each one of the at least one mechanical fastener penetrates through the reinforcement member 28.

For example, the connector 22 includes a rail member connection portion 42. The connector 22 is coupled to the reinforcement member 28 with the rail member connection portion 42. For example, the rail member connection portion 42 includes each one of the at least one aperture for receiving the respective one of the at lest one mechanical fastener. For example, the rail member connection portion 42 is disposed over the reinforcement member 28. For example, the connection portion 42 is shaped to be fitted over the reinforcement member 28. For example, the connection portion 42 is shaped to be fitted over a surface of a side of the reinforcement member 38 which is seated on the strut coupling member 40. For example, the connection portion 42 is shaped to be fitted over and disposed substantially flush relative to a surface of a side of the reinforcement member 28 which is seated on the strut coupling member 40. For example, the connection portion 42 includes a width, and the connection portion 42 is substantially continuous across the width.

For example, with respect to the coupling of the connector 22 to the railing assembly component, the railing assembly component includes a connector joint surface portion 1422, and the connector 22 is coupled to the connector joint surface portion 1422. For example, the coupling is effected with at least one mechanical fastener. In this respect, for example, the connector 22 includes at least one aperture, wherein each one of the at least one aperture corresponds to a respective one of the at least one mechanical fastener. Each one of the at least one mechanical fastener pass through the respective one of the at least one aperture and engage the railing assembly component, such as the post 14, to effect coupling of the connector 22 to the railing assembly component. For example, each one of the at least one mechanical fastener penetrates through the connector joint surface portion 1422 of the railing assembly component.

For example, the connector 20 includes an external connection portion 44. The connector 20 is coupled to the railing assembly component, such as the post 14, with the external connection portion 44. For example, the external connection portion 44 includes each one of the at least one aperture for receiving the respective one of the at lest one mechanical fastener.

In one configuration, the reinforcement member 28 of the reinforced rail member 30 is disposed substantially flush relative to a reinforcement member joint surface portion 1428 of the railing assembly component.

For example, with respect to the reinforcement member 28, the reinforcement member 28 includes an end portion 281 including an end surface 2814, wherein the end surface 2814 is disposed substantially flush relative to the reinforcement member joint surface portion 1428 of the railing assembly component.

For example, the external connection portion 44 includes a connection surface 441 which is disposed substantially flush relative to the connector joint surface portion 1422 of the railing assembly component, such as the post 14.

For example, the connector 42 and the reinforcement member 28 co-operate with the railing assembly component such that, when the connection 42 is coupled to each one of the railing assembly component, such as the post 14, and the reinforcement member 28, each one of the connection surface 441 and the reinforcement member 28 is disposed substantially flush relative to a respective one of surface portions 1422, 1428 of the railing assembly component. For example, each one of the reinforcement member joint surface portion 1428 and the connector joint surface portion 1422 is substantially co-planar. For example, each one of the reinforcement member joint surface portion 1428 and the connector joint surface portion 1422 is disposed in a substantially vertical plane.

For example, with respect to the disposition of the external connection portion 44, the external connection portion 44 extends from the connection portion 42 such that an axis of the external connection portion 44 is substantially perpendicular relative to an axis of the reinforcement member connection portion 42. As a further example, the connection surface 441 of the connection portion 44 is substantially co-planar relative to the end surface 2814.

In another configuration, the reinforcement member 28 includes the end portion 281 including the end surface 2814, and the railing assembly component, such as the post 14, includes a reinforcement member point surface portion 1428, and with respect to the disposition of the end surface 2814 of the reinforcement member 28 relative to the reinforcement member joint surface portion 1428, a space 1430 is defined between the end surface 2814 and the surface portion 1428, wherein the maximum spacing between the end surface 2814 and the surface portion 1428, within the space 1430, is less than one-thirtysecond ( 1/32) of an inch. As a further example, this maximum spacing is less than one-sixtyfourth ( 1/64) of an inch. For example, with respect to the disposition of the external connection portion 44, the external connection portion 44 extends from the connection portion 42 such that an axis of the external connection portion 44 is substantially perpendicular relative to an axis of the reinforcement member connection portion 42. As a further example, the connection surface 441 of the connection portion 44 is substantially co-planar relative to the end surface 2814 of the reinforcement member 28.

(F) Reinforced Strut

In another aspect, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10, as described above, wherein the strut 24 is reinforced by a strut reinforcement member 68, and wherein the strut reinforcement member 68 is disposed relative to the strut 24 such that rotational movement of the strut reinforcement member 68, about the strut 24, and more particularly about a longitudinal axis 70 of the strut 24, is resisted. For example, the rotational movement is substantially prevented.

In this respect, and referring particularly to FIGS. 4, 5, and 7, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10 comprising the upper rail member 18, the lower rail member 20, the strut 24, and the strut reinforcement member 68. The strut 24 extends between and is coupled to each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20. The strut reinforcement member 68 effects reinforcement of the strut 24 and extends between and is coupled to each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20. The strut reinforcement member 68 is disposed relative to the strut 24 such that rotational movement of the strut reinforcement member 68, relative to a longitudinal axis 70 of the strut 24, is resisted.

For example, with respect to the rotational movement, the rotational movement is substantially prevented.

For example, with respect to the disposition of the strut reinforcement member 68 relative to the strut 24, the strut reinforcement member 68 is tightly fitted into the strut 24, such that the strut reinforcement member 68 is tightly fitted into the strut. For example, the strut reinforcement member 68 is disposed in slide-fit relationship with the strut 24. As a further example, the strut reinforcement member 68 includes opposite edge portions 72a, 72b, wherein each one of the opposite edge portions 72a, 72b is slide-fit into a respective one of opposite corners 74a, 74b provided within the strut 24.

(G) Guard Component Section Including a Reinforcement Skeleton.

In another aspect, there is provided the section of the guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10, wherein each one of the rail members 30, 31, and the strut 24 is reinforced. In this respect, there is provided the section of the guard component of the railing assembly 10 including a shell portion 66 and a reinforcing skeleton 75.

The shell portion 66 includes the upper rail member 18, the lower rail member 20, and the strut 24 extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20.

The reinforcing skeleton 75 includes an upper rail member skeleton 76, a lower rail member skeleton 78, and a strut skeleton 80 extending between and coupled to each one of the upper rail member skeleton 76 and the lower rail member skeleton 78.

The shell portion 66 is coupled to the reinforcing skeleton 75 and is disposed relative to the reinforcing skeleton 75 such that each one of the upper rail member skeleton 76, the lower rail member skeleton 78, and the strut skeleton 80 is configured to reinforce a respective one of the upper rail member 18, the lower rail member 20, and the strut 24.

For example, with respect to the upper rail member 18, the upper rail member 18 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 34. The shell section 34 includes the cap member 38 and the strut coupling member 40. The upper rail member skeleton 76, which effects reinforcement of the upper rail member 18, includes the reinforcement member 28. The reinforcement member 28 effects reinforcement of the shell section 34. The strut coupling member 40 is coupled to the strut 24. For example, the strut coupling member 40 is connected to the strut 24 with a fastener. For example, the cap member 38 is coupled or mounted to the reinforcement member, such as by way of snap-fit engagement, and the reinforcement member 28 is coupled to the strut coupling member 40. For example, the reinforcement member 28 is fastened to the strut coupling member 40, such as by way of a fastener. For example, the fastener is a threaded member, such as a bolt.

For example, with respect to the lower rail member 20, the lower rail member 20 includes the reinforced rail member shell section 35. The shell section 35 includes the cap member 39 and the strut coupling member 41. The lower rail member skeleton 78, which effects reinforcement of the lower rail member 20, includes the reinforcement member 29. The reinforcement member 29 effects reinforcement of the shell section 35. The strut coupling member 41 is coupled to the strut 24. For example, the strut coupling member 41 is connected to the strut 24 with a fastener. For example, the cap member 39 is coupled or mounted to the reinforcement member, such as by way of snap-fit engagement, and the reinforcement member 29 is coupled to the strut coupling member 41. For example, the reinforcement member 29 is fastened to the strut coupling member 40, such as by way of a fastener. For example, the fastener is a threaded member, such as a bolt.

For example, with respect to the strut 24, the strut 24 is coupled to each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20. For example, with respect to the coupling of the strut 24 to each one of the upper rail member 18 and the lower rail member 20, and as mentioned above, such coupling is effect by way of a respective one or more fasteners. For example, a suitable fastener is a threaded member, such as a bolt. For example, the fasteners effecting coupling of the strut 24 to the upper rail member 18 are the same fasteners as those used to effect coupling of the reinforcement member 28 to the strut coupling member 40 of the upper rail member 18. For example, the fasteners effecting coupling of the strut 24 to the lower rail member 20 are the same fasteners as those used to effect coupling of the reinforcement member 29 to the strut coupling member 41 of the lower rail member 20. The strut skeleton 80, which effects reinforcement of the strut 24, is coupled to the reinforcement member 28 of the upper rail member 18 and is also coupled to the reinforcement member 29 of the lower rail member 20. For example, with respect to the coupling of the strut skeleton 80 to the reinforcement member 28 of the upper rail member 18, the strut skeleton 80 is coupled to the reinforcement member 28 by way of a fastener, such as the same fastener which effects coupling of the reinforcement member 28 to the strut coupling member 40. For example, with respect to the coupling of the strut skeleton 80 to the reinforcement member 29 of the lower rail member 20, the strut skeleton 80 is coupled to the reinforcement member 29 by way of a fastener, such as the same fastener which effects coupling of the reinforcement member 29 to the strut coupling member 41. For example, with respect to the disposition of the strut skeleton 80 relative to the strut 24, the strut skeleton 80 is disposed relative to the strut 24 such that rotational movement of the strut skeleton 80, relative to the longitudinal axis 70 of the strut 24, is resisted. For example, the rotational movement is substantially prevented. In this respect, for example, the strut skeleton 80 is disposed in press-fit engagement with the strut. For example, the strut skeleton 80 is wedged into engagement with the strut 24. For example, each one of opposite edge portions 72a, 72b of the strut skeleton 80 is press-fit or wedged into a respective one of the opposite corners 74a, 74b provided within the strut 24.

For example, with respect to each one of the upper rail member 18, the lower rail member 20, and the strut 24, each one of these components includes plastic. As a further example, the material is extruded plastic. For example, the material is polyvinyl chloride.

For example, with respect to each one of the upper rail member skeleton 76, the lower rail member skeleton 78, and the strut skeleton 80, the material of each one of these elements includes a metalliferrous material. As a further example, the material is a metalliferrous material. For example, with respect to the material of each one of the upper rail member skeleton 76 and the lower rail member skeleton 78, the material is steel. A suitable steel is galvanized steel. For example, with respect to the material of the strut skeleton 80, the material is aluminium.

(H) Method of Making Embodiment of Railing Assembly

An exemplary method for constructing an embodiment of the railing assembly 10 is provided.

Initially, the required length of a guard component 16 of the railing assembly 10 is determined. In some cases, depending on materials used, the total length of the guard component 16 should not exceed a predetermined length. For example, a predetermined length is seven (7) feet. The length of the guard component 16 determines the number of struts 24. For example, spacing between each one of the struts 24 is about 3¾ inches. Each one of the struts is then reinforced with a respective strut reinforcement member 68, by sliding each one of the reinforcement members 68 into the hollow passage of a respective one of the struts 24.

Once each one of the struts 24 is reinforced, each one of struts 24 is coupled to some of the components of each one of the upper and lower rail member 18, 20 to form an intermediate guard component. With respect to coupling of the struts 24 to some of the components of the upper rail member 18, the reinforcement member 28 and the strut coupling member 40 are cut to size and aligned relative to each one of the struts 24. The reinforcement member 28, the strut coupling member 40, and each one of the struts 24 are fastened together with mechanical fasteners, such as screws. For example, the mechanical fasteners penetrate through the strut coupling member 40. Similarly, with respect to coupling of the struts 24 to some of the components of the lower rail member 20, the reinforcement member 29 and the strut coupling member 41 are cut to size and aligned relative to each one of the struts 24. The reinforcement member 29, the strut coupling member 41, and each one of the struts 24 are fastened together with mechanical fasteners, such as screws. For example, the mechanical fasteners penetrate through the strut coupling member 41. Connectors 20 are then fastened to each end of each one of reinforcement members 28, 29. For example, the alignment and coupling of the components of the upper and lower rail members 18, 20 and each one of the struts 24 is effected in a jig with alignment features for effecting predetermined alignment and support of each one of these elements during the fastening operation.

The intermediate guard component is then fastened, at each end thereof, to a structural member, such as a post 14. Once the intermediate guard component is fastened, at each end thereof, to a structural member, the cap member 38 is snap-fit engaged with the reinforcement member 28, and the cap member 39 is snap-fit engaged with the reinforcement member 29, to thereby form an embodiment of the railing assembly 10.

Although the disclosure describes and illustrates various embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these particular embodiments. Many variations and modifications will now occur to those skilled in the art of headwear. For full definition of the scope of the invention, reference is to be made to the appended claims.





 
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